Who Was Swallowed By A Whale

who was swallowed by a whale
who was swallowed by a whale

It was a captivating and extraordinary event that could only be compared to a biblical tale. The story of a Cape Cod commercial lobster diver named Michael Packard being briefly swallowed by a humpback whale has now been brought to life in a feature-length documentary called “In the Whale.” This astonishing underwater encounter has fascinated people worldwide, and the film aims to shed light on this remarkable incident.

A Brush with the Unthinkable

Packard’s remarkable experience began when he was diving off the coast of Cape Cod. The trailer for “In the Whale” includes a snippet of the frantic 911 call made by Packard’s diving partner, who described the diver’s injured leg and exclaimed, “It’s a long story.” The documentary features interviews with Packard himself and members of the local community who were involved in this extraordinary event.


A Whale’s Unexpected Meal

During the incident, Packard found himself trapped in the closed mouth of one of the world’s largest creatures. At a depth of about 45 feet, he suddenly felt a tremendous impact, plunging him into darkness. At first, Packard suspected he had been attacked by a great white shark, a common sight off the coast of Cape Cod. However, as he realized the absence of teeth, he came to a stunning realization: he was inside the mouth of a whale. Packard’s crew mate, Josiah Mayo, witnessed the chaos from the boat and saw Packard emerge moments later as the whale vanished beneath the waves.

The Unbelievable Survival

The news of Packard’s encounter initially raised skepticism, but soon enough, the truth became evident. Harbormaster Don German, who received the call about the incident, admitted his initial disbelief but quickly realized the severity of the situation. Packard battled to find his breathing regulator in the whale’s turbulent mouth, uncertain whether he would be swallowed or suffocate. Faced with the thought of leaving behind his loved ones, Packard braced himself for the worst. However, in a miraculous turn of events, the whale abruptly shook its head, dislodging Packard from its mouth, and propelled him back into the open water. Floating on the surface, Packard watched the whale’s tail disappear beneath the waves, grateful to have survived this extraordinary ordeal.

The Aftermath and Reflection

Packard suffered a dislocated knee and soft tissue damage during the encounter. Despite the excruciating pain, he remains determined to return to his beloved profession of lobster diving as soon as possible. This remarkable incident was not Packard’s first brush with death; he had previously survived a plane crash in Costa Rica over a decade ago. Reflecting on his near-death experiences, Packard humbly acknowledges the extraordinary resilience that has earned him the nickname “Milagro Mike” in Costa Rica.


Are human-whale encounters common?

No, encounters between humans and whales are rare. Whales typically feed by lunging through the water with their mouths wide open, engulfing schools of fish and filtering the water through their baleen. If something unintentionally crosses their path during a feeding lunge, the whale may not detect it in time to avoid a collision or an accidental ingestion. Therefore, it is crucial for individuals to maintain a safe distance from whales in their natural habitat.

How can I watch the documentary “In the Whale”?

“In the Whale” is scheduled for screenings at various film festivals, including the New Hampshire Film Festival, Mystic Film Festival, Cape Ann Film Festival, and Cape Cinema in Dennis. Directed and produced by David Abel, a renowned Boston Globe contributing reporter and documentary filmmaker, the film offers an in-depth look at Michael Packard’s extraordinary encounter with the humpback whale.


The remarkable story of Michael Packard’s encounter with a humpback whale has captivated the world. As the feature-length documentary “In the Whale” brings this unbelievable tale to the big screen, audiences will have the opportunity to witness the gripping details of Packard’s brush with one of nature’s giants. This incident serves as a powerful reminder of the awe-inspiring and sometimes unpredictable wonders of the natural world. To learn more about fascinating stories like these, visit Top Q&A for a wide range of compelling insights and answers.

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